The occasion was a white supremacist rally in South Carolina that was protesting the removal of the Confederate flag from the statehouse grounds. One of the protestors, who was wearing a black T-shirt emblazoned with a swastika, was overcome by the hot sun. African-American state trooper Leroy Smith went to his aid. With a firm grip, he began walking the wilted white man up the 40 steps to the air-conditioned statehouse. As they climbed, someone shot a photograph that went viral on social media. It was described as “a quiet act of decency.” Asked why he thinks the photo has had such resonance, Smith gave a simple answer: “Love.” Most people resonate with Christmas for the same reason—because it’s about God’s love in sending Jesus as our Saviour.
1. What well-known verse tells us this? John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
2. Why was Mary’s Child to be called Jesus? Matthew 1:21 “She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”
The name Jesus means “the Lord saves.”
3. What title was given to Jesus at His birth? Matthew 1:22, 23 “All this took place to fulfil what the Lord had said through the prophet: ‘The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel’—which means, ‘God with us.’”
Jesus is God the Son who created the universe and became a human being so He could save us from our sins (John 1:1–14, 29; Colossians 1:16).
4. What was the supreme act of love? 1 John 4:9, 10 “This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world [as an atoning sacrifice for our sins] that we might live through him.”
5. When did Jesus die for us? Romans 5:8 “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
6. Does God save us because of all the good things we do? Titus 3:5 “He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy.”
The apostle Paul says: “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God” (Ephesians 2:8).
7. What assurance can we have? 1 John 5:13 “I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life” (italics added).
Salvation is for all who accept Jesus as their Saviour.
8. How can we approach God? Hebrews 4:16 “Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”
9. In what is God “faithful and just”? 1 John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”
10. What do we become and what is our entitlement when we accept Jesus as Saviour? Romans 8:14, 17 “Because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. . . . Now if we are children, then we are heirs— heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.”
Speaking of love, state trooper Smith said, “I think that’s the greatest thing in the world. And that’s why so many people were moved by it.” May we look beyond the media hype and commercialism of Christmas to see the real purpose of Jesus’ coming—to reveal God’s love by dying for our sins. May we rejoice this Christmas in the love of God in sending Jesus as Saviour of the world.